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Chogye Trichen Rinpoche - Oral Instructions on the Practice of Guru Yoga (Revised)

Chogye Trichen Rinpoche - Oral Instructions on the Practice of Guru Yoga (Revised)

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Published by klgrdh
This seems to be a different version of a teaching that I posted earlier (http://www.scribd.com/doc/144016083/Chogye-Trichen-Rinpoche-Oral-Instructions-on-the-Practice-of-Guru-Yoga-highlighted). The provenance of the earlier version is unclear. The present version is approved by the original translator, John Deweese.
This seems to be a different version of a teaching that I posted earlier (http://www.scribd.com/doc/144016083/Chogye-Trichen-Rinpoche-Oral-Instructions-on-the-Practice-of-Guru-Yoga-highlighted). The provenance of the earlier version is unclear. The present version is approved by the original translator, John Deweese.

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Published by: klgrdh on Sep 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Oral Instructions on the Practice of Guru Yoga
A teaching by H.E. Chogye Trichen Rinpoche
When a great Lama passes away, everyone feels sad. His disciples are heartbroken, allthe teachers feel very sorry, and the other high Lamas also mourn the loss of a great teacher. I am always very sorry when a master passes away. Nonetheless, when the timecomes for a master to pass away, there are different signs that occur, and these can beconfirmed by methods of Mo divination, and so on.Once the Guru has passed, there often remain other teachers who have a closeconnection with him, and this is very helpful for the disciples. Many prayers and ritualsare offered, and these bring blessings, and benefit everyone greatly. In our tradition, wegenerally perform the Vajrayogini rituals, as well as many other rituals, when a great master passes.Now the Guru has passed into the pure realms (
 zhing khams
), so there is no need to feeldejected, as the master has now manifested his own pure realms. All the lamas anddisciples are praying, and the blessings of the Guru will reach the disciples, they willreach whoever has faith. I myself will also pray for the disciples.While we may feel sad when our Guru passes, we should also let ourselves be at peace;there is no need to feel unhappy all the time. The most important point is that wepractice Guru Yoga. If we practice Guru Yoga well at these times, we will receiveblessings and we will see signs of these blessings in our practice. This will be helpful forour faith and our connection with the Guru. If we are able to do retreat sometime soonafter the passing of our Guru, this will bring even greater benefit, and the signs of practice will be very good.During the time when a great teacher has passed away, everyone prays together that the teacher will swiftly return to us. For example, Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche passed awayhere in Nepal and has come back to us; it is the same for Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, and formany other lamas. During their years of following the teacher, disciples accumulate agreat deal of merit. At the time of the Guru's passing, the disciples can dedicate all theirmerit and pray for the swift return of their teacher. This will help the teacher returnquickly to guide his disciples. It is also important to maintain good friendships andharmony among the disciples, as this will also help bring the Guru's return.Although your Guru has passed away, do not feel that he is separate from you. YourGuru is in the pure realms now, and this is something wonderful. At the same time, heknows everything that is taking place, and he knows about you and your situation. Donot feel that your Guru is now separate from you. You are still together, just as you havebeen. He will always take care of you, now and in the future.When the master is in the pure realms, the benefits and blessings available to disciplesare very special. If you practice Guru Yoga, his blessings will continue to be with you,and they will increase through your practice.All the disciples have worked very hard, and have pleased the mind of their Guru. I willpray for you and dedicate your merit. Your teacher deeply appreciates your hard work,and does not want you to feel disheartened. Most of all, the Guru will show his discipleshow happy he is with them by continuing to bless them. For this, the practice of GuruYoga is most helpful.
The Guru-Disciple Relationship
According to the teachings of Secret Mantra (
sang ngag
), the relation between the Guruand the disciple should be like that of a father and child, where the disciple regards theGuru as their father. The ideal relationship between Guru and disciple is that of a parent and child who share a very close bond and a deep affection for one another. In normallife, the parent will place great trust in his child, and the child will have the same trust inhis parents. The disciple needs this to have this kind of trust in the Guru. While it is of great benefit to know about the spiritual qualities of the Guru, in order to truly havedeep, heartfelt devotion (
) toward the Guru, it needs to be based on our ownexperience.It is also important that disciples maintain the kind of affection for their fellow disciplesthat they would feel for a beloved brother or sister with whom they share a unique,deep bond. To regard one's Guru as one's parent, and one's Dharma brothers and sistersas one's siblings, is the best way to maintain the
vows. If we begin by beingmindful of these ways of relating to the Guru, our faith will grow.To maintain the relationship between teacher and student, we have the three groups of vows (
dompa sum; sdom pa gsum
); those of the Hinayana, the Mahayana, and theVajrayana. Guarding the vows we have received, and keeping them pure, maintains ourrelationship with our Guru, which is the basis for all of the vows. When the vows areproperly respected, the teacher has become like a father to us, and we have become likea child to our teacher.These vows are the sacred commitments between the Gurus and disciples, the vows of Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. The vows represent the discipline and training wehave undertaken with our Gurus, and they guide and protect the nature of ourrelationship with them. In brief, by maintaining a very positive attitude at all timestoward the Guru and his disciples, all will be well. The Guru's wishes and activities willbe fulfilled. The essence of the three vows is that the Guru is a loving father, and thedisciple is a devoted child. With this kind of relationship, the disciple's qualities of faithand devotion will continue to improve and flower.Just as a child is given everything by his parents, the disciples should always think that whatever qualities (
) they may possess, such as renunciation and morality, loveand compassion, faith and devotion, knowledge and wisdom, everything has been givento them by their precious Gurus. When you pray to the Guru, say to him: "Whatever Ihave comes from you!" I am grateful to my Gurus for everything I have received fromthem. In the tradition of Secret Mantra (
sang ngak 
), the source of all spiritual qualities isthe Guru.
Guru Yoga and Freedom from Ego-Clinging
The Buddha said that the cause of suffering is ignorance. Ignorance takes many forms.One aspect of this is clinging to a personal self, which leads to attributing a self oridentity to other persons and to phenomena in general. Clinging to a personal self manifests as a kind of pride and sense that oneself is more important than others.We constantly give great weight to our thoughts and emotions, to the ideas and imageswe hold about ourselves. This is ego-clinging (
dag dzin
), our sense of self-importance(
che 'gying
). Whether we think we are a very good person or a very bad person, in eithercase we attribute great importance to ourselves in our thoughts and feelings. Thus thereis a subtle pride involved.
This sense of self-importance results in selfish behavior. The mind training (
)teachings of the Mahayana vehicle explain many meditations on love, compassion,exchanging self for others, and
All of these meditations will greatly help toeradicate selfishness from our mindstream of being, and diminish our sense of self-importance.Furthermore, the very idea of self is a delusion, yet we may hold very definite ideasabout ourselves in mind, and cling to them very adamantly. This clinging to oneself, orego-clinging (
dag dzin
) is grasping on to the sense of "I am" (
nga yin dzinba
). Due to ego-clinging, we experience a constant cycle of emotions that all have the same referencepoint (
tay so; gtad so
), which is our idea and image of ourselves.This reference point is like a magnet (
khad long
), a point of attraction for all ourconfused thinking and afflictive emotions. It is the idea and image we have of ourselvesas a defined identity, as an independent entity (
ngopo; dngos po
). To develop clearinsight (
vipashyana; lhag tong
) and transcendent intelligence (
 prajna; sherab
), we needto move beyond this reference point of self.If we wish to rid ourselves of the delusion of self- centered pride, which is the ongoingsense of our own importance, the supreme method is to rely on the Guru. Whenpracticing Guru Yoga, the unification with the Guru, once the Guru dissolves into us andwe merge our body, speech, and mind with that of the Guru, we rest in emptiness. In thestate of emptiness, there is no self, no personal reference point.As soon as we have a sense of self, immediately there are others, other persons andphenomena that have a relationship to our self. As the Vajrayogini texts explain, basedon the initial ignorance that arises through the uniting of the mother and father's redand white elements, we subsequently have attachment toward some things andaversion toward others. From this point, birth and the whole of conditioned existenceunfold within our experience. Once there is no self, there is nothing that we can say is"mine". We do not cling to persons and things, as there is no one to hold on to them, noone to possess them. Once there is nothing we possess, there are no friends andrelatives to whom we are attached, nor foes and enemies to feel anger and aversiontoward. Rather, we experience equanimity toward friend and foe, free of hope and fear.We become free of all this tension, liberated from a host of cares and woes. Once the self is empty, the other is empty as well.To liberate ourselves from clinging to the self, we need to rely on the Guru. When wehave merged with the Guru and come to rest in emptiness, the clinging to our ordinarysense of self is gone. We have merged with the pure body, speech, and mind of the Guru.Our ordinary body, speech, and mind have disappeared into emptiness. We disappearand instead assume the pure vision of ourselves as the enlightened body, voice, andmind of the Gurus and Deities.The reason we visualize our Gurus and ourselves in the enlightened form of deities,which is the practice of pure vision (
dag nang
), is to cut away ego-clinging, the sense of grasping at a self. It is to remove our deluded sense of the importance of our ordinaryself, of our ordinary body, speech, and mind. The practice of Guru Yoga purifies thedelusion of clinging to a self and clinging to the existence of the world and beings.
Faith and Devotion: The Pure Vision of the Guru
All of the Buddhas of the past, present, and future attained Enlightenment only through

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